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Unravelling the Secrets of "Normality" (1996)

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#61 denzquix

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:17 PM

Df9eQ7K.gif  D2gUczL.png
alternate version of the rebels' secret fridge...

 

Can I just start by saying that your theory of the paranoid fish coupled with the shark toy *was* excellent. It was never planned at all that! But now you've said it - it is blindingly obvious that THAT *should* be a puzzle in its own right?!
How on earth did we as developers miss THAT?! I actually had them shark / monkey toy grabbers on my desk at work irl!
I'll just have to pretend that we WERE going to put that in as a puzzle - but that it would be FAR too sensible! We were too busy coming up with REAL puzzles such as stealing some frozen food, wrapping it up in a towel to then smash a washing machine door to rescue a rat! Haha!


hahaha!! thanks for clearing that up for me! amazing


okay, how about this one... in the Ordinary Outpost labs there are two locked rooms. you get into the first one (forensics lab) by freeing the tortured prisoner, who runs about smashing in windows. inside a cabinet in the forensics lab, there's a pair of keys hanging up:
 

zXYRzRM.png


one key gets you into the second locked room, which has an locked cupboard inside it, unlocked with the other key (it's empty):
 

UY3uOJZ.png


it's a nice room (love that skull poster) but there seems to be nothing you can do/learn here... well you can pick up one of the CDs, but then you can do that from the mad scientist's desk outside, and the CD doesn't seem to have any use in the game anyway...

so my theory here was that you could choose to hide the unconscious body of the prisoner in the cupboard rather than dragging him to the ZoomToob and sending him back up to the Processing floor, and this decision would maybe have an effect on what happens later in the game... or if not, maybe you would have to hide yourself in there... do you have any memory of something like that?



#62 dada

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:22 PM

YES!!! What was the point of that little room! I've hurt my head thinking about this, I'm not kidding. I did not know what that was for and I was sure there was some kind of secret that I wasn't getting.


#63 dada

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Also, while we're on the subject, I'd like to ask you about this:

normality_secret.png

So this Norm guards some kind of storage area conspicuously marked "keep out". He claims you need a BADGE to get in. If you go to the MINT Mall, Norm 2782 will give you one. But when you then go back here, the Norm guarding this area still refuses to let you in. You can't get in using the uniform you get for infiltrating the Outpost later, either. So my guess is this was meant to be some kind of extra area but there was no time to actually build it?


#64 denzquix

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

GFX1/ICONS.DAT contains the inventory item icons. (nerd shit: the whole file is just raw pixel data, no information about palette or dimensions, so just know that the icons are 32x32 pixels & use a palette from any of the .DAS files)

anyway here they all are
 

RFF846u.png


the 2 in the bottom right are alternative versions of the mallet & t-shirt from the CD Zone demo

also from the demo: here's where the can of *FOOD* & the leaky yellow paintcan used to live
 

3p00CiO.png


also it turns out the voodoo doll used to be a bit bigger & more prominent
 

G7b1jNS.png  Cn7LOvt.png
kent doll: demo vs. final



#65 denzquix

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:00 PM


fPbPOe4l.png jbHP3FQl.png
click to enlarge


scans of a couple of concept art sketches from sengstack's book ^^^^^^



DIGI/EUREKA0.SFX contains sound effects (but not character voice lines)

: "Normality Today" TV ident

: 9 weird whispers (from the sewers?) with the audio reversed

file structure:
Spoiler


#66 dada

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

9 weird whispers (from the sewers?) with the sound reversed:

The last line is "My name is Neil". :) Hi Mr. Biggin.
I'm guessing these were used in the Zoom Tubes. Or maybe, like you say, in the sewer in Saul's lab.


#67 denzquix

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

more from the book...

character origins
  • Paul Nystalux: originally created for Gremlin's Loaded for PSX
  • Kent Knutson: inspired by "gen-X, grunge type character" for an unused soft drink commercial
in-house character descriptions given to voice actors
  • Saul Nystalux: "benevolent, chilled-out, aging surfer, like a happy Dennis Hopper"
  • Brian Deluge: "sounds like he's done far too many recreational narcotics but has never seen or ingested any"
  • TV Station Bouncer: "deep, booming voice makes listeners' fillings vibrate"
  • TV Boss Johnson: "whatever you might have done, he has done it twice in more expensive clothes"
  • Clerk in Cave of Comestibles: "desperately in need of Prozac"
  • Girl in Thrifty-Fifty: "semi-comatose, bored narcoleptic"
  • Scientist at Ordinary Outpost lab: "balding old git with a face like a bag of smashed crabs"
team member likenesses


uWpPT9o.png
Ade Carless

q7mv4L1.png
Antony Crowther

aOHpBw1.gif
Christian Russell

K1VWHWE.pngCCtvsBh.png
Matt Sandford

eglcuQ1.gif
Ricki Martin



#68 denzquix

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:50 AM

ok here's a sprite/texture dump from a few more locations:

Apartment Building: http://imgur.com/a/fgaZb
Streets of Neutropolis (1): http://imgur.com/a/tndct
Streets of Neutropolis (2): http://imgur.com/a/5Zt0A
Streets of Neutropolis (3): http://imgur.com/a/JEDYN
Streets of Neutropolis (4): http://imgur.com/a/Y8LUg
Above TV Heaven: http://imgur.com/a/n8vW0
Power Station: http://imgur.com/a/Cr5dX

#69 dada

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:10 AM

Very nice work :)

I love the foreshadowing in this texture
hiTBtYn.png
after all, you do lock the TV store manager in the back room BEFORE blowing the power station to high heavens.


#70 bonzi_buddy

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

just a quick note but i got a suspicious feeling the authors of Normality got the name from a racing horse...!



#71 superflat

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 04:14 PM

I really love Antony Crowther's Amiga games (Speccy user, so missed most of his C64 games, although loved Peter Harrap's Monty Mole over what I saw of Crowther's quite different port), and this is the only 16/32bit one I've yet to try. I think it's sad he's just a code jockey these days for games like Battlefield. I do feel he was an underrated designer with a strong voice, and good sense of feel. I like his pixels in Captive too (my favourite of his.)

So I played ROTH and loved it when it came out. Recently been craving it for some reason and then I saw this juicy thread (should probably post in the intro thread after this, longtime lurker, cheers for having me!) I'd always sort of written off Normality, even back then, as being a very trashy, hard-to-appreciate-without-a-90's-aesthetic-preference, the logical conclusion of CDi, Bart Simpson and freakishly rendered graphics or something.

Even though Crowther is just listed as a coder, and not lead, I get the feeling that he must have made a fair contribution - perhaps the original artist who so kindly posted itt can respond to this? From his posts it sounds like it was quite a collaborative environment, anyway!

So! I just wanted to say thankyou for making me take another look at this game, which somehow when I see it now seems to totally fit my current taste. I find the little billboard sprites placed in cabinets etc. so beautifully intriguing (something I loved about ROTH also, the tiny sprite objects everywhere, especially that you can touch them with you mouse, sad that that combination of styles didn't exist for very long post-Doom and pre-Quake. There's just something so appealing about that, I can't explain why...)

#72 denzquix

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 01:32 AM

the music in normality is basically MIDI but the file format is different from .MID, so here is all the music converted to .MID:

Attached File  normality-music.zip   421.81K   17 downloads

...this includes a couple of pieces of music from the demo version that aren't in the final game (NORMUSIC and XSAUL), as well as minor variations from the demo & U.S. version..

to hear these the most authentic way, the original .HMP files are also included, if you can work out how to temporarily replace one of the music files in-game (e.g. XKENT is the apartment music)

here is code for reading .HMP:

Spoiler



#73 dada

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:42 AM

nice! I didn't know there were extra tracks in the demo version, will check them out.



#74 dada

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:32 PM

since I'm ripping the soundtrack for this game, I went and checked out those extra versions. they're all just broken/truncated versions of the ones that appear in the retail version (they never get played in the demo version anyway). there are very minute differences. the USA_ANEW1.HMP is kind of interesting. it's identical to the other one, except one of the instruments is broken and plays against the beat in a very obvious way. I'm not sure that it was actually used, maybe it was just there but the game really loads a different file? I'm gonna pop in the cd and give it a try.

edit: nah, apparently USA_ANEW1.HMP really does play in the US version. the UK version is definitely the correct one, that's the one they also used for the opening and closing credits videos.

- USA_ANEW1.HMP       alternate version of ANEW1.HMP from the US version
  - DEMO_NORMUSIC.HMP   demo only, not in retail version
  - DEMO_XCHAM.HMP      truncated version of XCHAM.HMP
  - DEMO_XFACTORY.HMP   truncated version of XFACTORY.HMP
  - DEMO_XKENT.HMP      truncated version of XKENT.HMP
  - DEMO_XOUTPOST.HMP   truncated version of XOUTPOST.HMP
  - DEMO_XREBEL.HMP     virtually identical to XREBEL.HMP
  - DEMO_XSTREET.HMP    virtually identical to XSTREET.HMP, but doesn't loop
  - DEMO_XSAUL.HMP      demo only, not in retail version


#75 dada

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 08:53 PM

whoever edited the USA version of the script must've had a broken keyboard, there are tons of double spaces in the text, sometimes triple spaces.


#76 denzquix

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:35 AM

edit: nah, apparently USA_ANEW1.HMP really does play in the US version. the UK version is definitely the correct one, that's the one they also used for the opening and closing credits videos.

ohh yeah, the videos always use their own audio, not MIDI... does the music get used anywhere else than the credits?

#77 DDay

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 11:05 PM

whoever edited the USA version of the script must've had a broken keyboard, there are tons of double spaces in the text, sometimes triple spaces.

 

 

Didn't you realise yet Dada us Americans are a waste of space and there for are typing must reflected that.


DDay is Dead  I am a dead man typing

 

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#78 dada

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:42 PM



edit: nah, apparently USA_ANEW1.HMP really does play in the US version. the UK version is definitely the correct one, that's the one they also used for the opening and closing credits videos.

ohh yeah, the videos always use their own audio, not MIDI... does the music get used anywhere else than the credits?



in a few videos, yes. so for example when you put the debris on the bed in the factory, a brief part of the song plays. it's one of the motifs that keeps repeating throughout the game. I guess ANEW1.HMP is the main theme.


#79 Crowley9

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:42 AM

I registered just to post at this thread. I have been looking around for information on the .GDV video format. I have never actually played Normality, though that's been on my plate for a long time. However, I love Realms of the Haunting. Something I would really love to do is have the videos in ROTH redone with different aspect ratio, as the way they are in the game currently makes everything look slightly squashed. The videos are in 320x280 resolution, but the game displays those with double the lines, so it's in practice 640x280.

Just to see if the game would crash and burn if it tried playing a different type of .GDV file, I switched the intro with a video from Normality. It actually did play without the game complaining, but it was at double speed.



#80 denzquix

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:23 AM

yep it looks like GDV format is not quite the same between different games... these are links that I used to help work out GDVs:

 

http://wiki.multimed...n_Digital_Video

http://www.realmsoft...m/downloads.php (the GDV Player also dumps frames to PCX images - I had to run this in DOSBox)







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